Carnations or dianthus ("flower of the gods") date back to ancient Greece
and Rome where they are first mentioned as being used as garlands for special ceremonies and celebrations.
A popular favorite throughout Europe for centuries, it wasn't until the mid-19th century when the first shipment of carnations arrived in the U.S. from France.
Because they are one of the longest-lasting cut flowers, carnations have become an indispensable part of U.S. Mother's Day celebrations, and have become a common flower worn as corsages and in men's lapels as buttoneers.
In the home garden, carnations are also one of the easiest to grow, Carnations are propagated from seeds or from cuttings taken from the suckers at the base of the plant, from side shoots, or from the main stem before flower buds show.
Carnations can be grown in three distinctive types: large (with one large flower on each stem); sprayor mini carnations (featuring lots of smaller flowers) and dwarf (several small flowers on each stem).
They prefer full sun and well drained soil. Once established, they begin blooming in spring. Feel free to ontinue to pluck the flowers as they appear, but leave three to four nodes at the base to ensure that they keep on blooming throughout the season.
Although generally drought-resistant, carnations should be watered liberally during the height of the summer growing season until early fall.
On the Web - How to plant & grow carnations, pinks & sweet william :
Carnations, Pinks and Sweet Williams - Check out facts on sowing, growing and propagating by cuttings, with additional facts on care & maintenance, and tips on starting dianthus from seed.
Ohio's Famed Floral Emblem: The Scarlet Carnation - Here's an interesting history of how the carnation became the official state flower, plus general description and growing tips, how to recognize differences among carnations, pinks, & sweet williams, plus recommended varieties, pictures.